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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 75, August 17, 1853

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Identifier: DX04098771

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 75, August 17, 1853

Description: Describes visiting a Catholic church for Native Americans at La Pointe, Wisconsin.


others the blanket, shirt or frock, shabby though colored leggings, and moccasins, over all the blanket, exceedingly dirty. They were round-shouldered and in-toed, and slender looking. Hitherto I have not seen an Indian I couldn’t lick, I think. Their faces varied considerably, but there was ever the low-forehead and high cheek bones of the savage. Some had battered felt hats, one I saw quite brigandish, others straw, with perchance a feather stuck in a parte-colored band, others naught but long, lank hair. The half-breeds were gaily dressed, blue or dark loose pants, tasty cotton shirts, and girded by red sashes. Some of the fellows were not ill-looking. They were all thronging about the little wood-piled pier, and many on the vessel. Pursuing our walk and overtaking Godefroi, Lewis, & Genessee man, we reached a little French Catholic church & burial ground. The latter was fenced in roughly, stakes with a horizontal pole piercing them. Within the bodies were evidently buried above ground, earth tumuli over them, long grass, and little wooden crosses, daubed with paint flourishes. Each tomb had its inscription in French. We entered the Church. It was wooden built had backed seats, some ill-done prints and pictures round it, and a big “Nativity” scene over the altar. The priest, attired in the usual Aamish panoply stood and on either side knelt two Indian boys; The congregation were mostly squaws, all keeping up a long, low, liquid but monstrous and drawling responses in Chippeway dialect. I should think there’d be few consonants and gutturals in it. Some of the younger women had good eyes & profiles, but all coarse, large mouths. The boys, (there were some half dozen, unkempt, thick-haired elfin urchins,) deported themselves much as white boys do in church, leaning over the backs of the seats fronting them, their heads

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1853-08-17

Type(s): Diary

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: Ojibwa Indians
Clothing and dress
Great Lakes (North America)
Indians of North America
Church buildings


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